For Immediate ReleaseNovember 20, 2017
Many young people in Marin are on the verge of ‘aging out’ of system
San Rafael, CA – Marin County currently has 83 children in out-of-home care, also known as foster care, and nearly 45 percent of them are placed in homes outside of Marin. The Marin County Recruitment Collaborative, which includes specialists from Marin County Health and Human Services (HHS), seeks more local homes so it can bring those young people back to their own community.
Children come into the child welfare system through no fault of their own and are among the county’s most vulnerable residents. Every effort is made to keep foster children in their own communities, to keep siblings together, and to create good matches between kids and families. To do that, Marin needs a larger, more diverse pool of foster homes. Resource families can provide temporary care to children or choose to be an adoptive family; both are needed.
November is National Adoption Awareness Month and this year’s theme is “Teens Need Families, No Matter What.” The theme highlights the importance of identifying well-prepared and committed families for the thousands of teenagers in foster care nationwide.
The California Fostering Connections to Success Act of 2010 (AB 12) extended foster care for California youths to the age of 21. Rather than “aging out” or exiting the system at 18, young people may choose to continue in foster care, maintaining a safety net of support. While it has helped, securing lifelong connections for those teens legally and emotionally, it remains an urgent need and is critical component of their future achievement and overall well-being.
Sarah,* a local adoptive mother of two, described the licensing and adoption process as “invasive.”
“So you need to be comfortable with that,” she said. “It's important to be patient and wait for the right match as things do work out the way they're supposed to.”
Molly entered the foster system at age 15 with her brother and is now pursuing a masters degree in social work at Columbia University in New York City.
“I have been working toward my goal of becoming a social worker for many years, and am so grateful that I had the support of so many people in my community who knew I was just as capable as any other teenager,” Molly said. “Another reason I was able to achieve so much success is that I was able to stay in the same homes as my brother.”
In fact, 30 percent of the Marin children in resource care are a part of a sibling group.
Molly said teens need foster parents “who are willing to have long-term relationships with kids even after they move or go to college, are capable of loving a foster child as if they are their own, believe in their abilities to succeed academically and are willing to support them in maintaining relationships with siblings and other family members.”
The monthly orientations from Marin HHS, like the one December 5, are from 7-8:30 p.m. at the Marin Health and Wellness Campus, 3250 Kerner Blvd, Room 107, San Rafael. A social worker and an experienced foster parent facilitate the meetings and discuss the application process, the training and support available. To learn more and see future orientation dates, visit www.FosterOurFutureMarin.org or call 415-473-2200.
The Marin Recruitment Collaborative is comprised of Marin HHS, Aldea Children & Family Services, Alternative Family Services, Marin Foster Care Association, Seneca and TLC Child and Family Services.
For accessibility accommodation, please contact us in advance of the event at firstname.lastname@example.org or TTY (415) 473-3232.
*Name changed to protect identity
Leslie FieldsChild Welfare WorkerHealth and Human Services
3250 Kerner Blvd.San Rafael, CA 94903(415) 473-6418Email: Leslie FieldsMarin HHS website